If you find yourself in San Francisco late at night and decide to break into Uber’s car-inspection lot, you won’t be chased down by security cop hightailing it after you on a Segway or an angry Doberman nipping at your heels. Instead, you’ll be followed and filmed by an egg-shaped “K5” robot.
The robots, built by a company called Knightscope, stand five feet tall and weigh in at 300 pounds, Fusion reports. Each is equipped with a 360-degree camera, a thermal camera, a laser range-finder, a weather sensor, license-plate-recognition abilities, features that allow it to record and accurately identify people, and laser blasters. (Okay, we made that last one up.) Uber only recently began using the robots, which work by alerting the company’s security team and recording every movement of a potential intruder.
‘For the cost of a single-shift security guard, you get a machine that will patrol for 24 hours a day 7 days a week,’ said Stephens [Knightscope’s VP of marketing], citing wages of $25 to $35 hour for a human security guard. Stephens said two large security companies have already signed deals with Knightscope.
K5 robot’s are rented for an hourly rate of seven dollars per. The company recommends renting two of the bots, so that one can charge while the other patrols. Or so that the robots can become friends, communicate, and help facilitate the inevitable robot takeover.